making space

christmas wreath

We leave in two days, and I have twenty pages to write. We leave in two days and we have all our gifts to wrap.  The fridge is still full and we have people to see and bags to pack and books to return.

Every year, December is the same: busy. It’s an enormously cluttered month. It picks up momentum around Thanksgiving and then barrels in, in all its twinkling glory. Parties and papers, baking and exams, carols and final projects. My Christmas spirit kicks in, but I have no place to exercise it. Too busy to string lights! Too busy to make cookies! to make ornaments! to sew the napkins I promised for last Christmas!

empty sky

But I resolved to do things differently this year. On the last Friday before Advent, one of our professors, pointing out the echoes between the day’s gospel text and the psalm, reminded us that echoes need space to be heard. With too much clutter, their sound is dampened. How can I hear the echoes of the gospel during Advent if my days are full of stuff?

So I’ve made it a point to make some space. Not much, but here and there. Like baking a pan of cherry-cocoa brownies and singing Christmas carols with friends in our tiny living room. Like sitting for five minutes in the morning to read Luke. Like reading Madeleine L’Engle before I fall asleep. Like listening to last week’s episode of Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me and getting excited for season three of Downton Abbey while I make a stir fry. Like spreading all our gift wrapping supplies onto the living room floor and wrapping, ribboning, and tagging a gift for my beloved husband, waiting for him to return from work so we can go to bed.

our tiny christmas tree

December has felt peaceful, in spite of the chaos. I know that the One who comes will disturb the peace with his revolutionary ways, but I want to wait with a little less clutter, a little less anxiety. I want to be ready for his arrival. I want to notice him. To feel his voice, like the sound of many rushing waters, resonating in my spirit.

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6 thoughts on “making space

  1. Grace,
    Dallas Willard (whose thinking informs much of what we do here at Christ Memorial Church) created an acronym that I love: VIM. We need vision, intention, and means to grow in discipleship. Your post is a perfect example of that: you caught the vision, thought intentionally, and created the means. I love it! I’d like to add a link to this posting in my blog.

  2. Isn’t “Walking On Water” the best book about ministry and art you’ve ever read! I loved it! Madeleine L’Engle is my favorite author! She always invites me to worship!

  3. Pingback: loving the limits « Forsythia Root

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